Are You Ready For GDPR?
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 04 May 2018

GDPR is European legislation that comes into force on May 25th and will affect any business, online or otherwise, that keeps personal data on European citizens. If you don't know how this affects you, Future Learn has some short courses that could help.

Recent news headlines reporting websites closing down and citing GDPR as the reason are probably causing a sense of unease. And when you discover that: 

Failure to meet the GDPR requirements can result in fines up to EUR 20 million or up to 4% of the company’s worldwide annual turnover for the preceding fiscal year, whichever is higher.

unease might turn to panic.

It does suggest that looking into what GDPR is might be a good idea.

The Future Learn platform is currently offering courses that might help - and if you simply want to know what GDPR means for the promo video of Understanding the GDPR from the University of Groningen might be enough to satisfy your curiosity:

This is a 4-week course that has already started but as each week only requires 3 hours per week you should be able to catch up with students who started at the beginning. There is a free option which gives you 6 weeks access from the date you join it, but if you want to take part in the tests included in the course and earn a certificate if you achieve a score of 70% (plus having unlimited access to it) the cost is £72. 

The topics for this course are:

  • General principles and basic concepts of the GDPR
  • Key actors under the GDPR and their role
  • Rights of data subjects
  • Obligations of data controllers and processors and law compliance measures
  • Enforcement and compliance mechanisms
  • Liabilities and sanctions

In the introductory video learners are told:

Throughout this course, we'll make use of a number of real life examples and fictitious cases to be able to explain the EU legal framework on data protection. For example, we will be referring to Google as one of the companies that uses personal data when it's offering services to its clients.

To select just one of the promised outcomes, by the end of the course learners should be able to:

Investigate obligations of data controllers and processors and related steps that need to be taken for complying with the GDPR. 


The second course that is already available is: Introduction to GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation from UCL (University College London) in partnership with PA Consulting. Its blurb states:

you will get a thorough introduction to GDPR so you can grow your understanding of protecting personal data and be able to handle data in the digital economy appropriately.



This business-oriented course is for anyone handling customer data, whether working with customers in person, over the phone, or through digital or paper correspondence. Unlike other Future courses we've reported on there is no free access to any part of it. Its cost is £199 and this includes unlimited access to the course including articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes; tests to validate your learning and a Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible.

The outline of the course, which requires 2 hours of effort per week over 3 weeks is:


Week 1 - Law and history

  • The purpose and history of data regulation in relation to the new legislation
  • The principles of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Key concepts, including (but not limited to) the natural person, personal data, controllers and processors, and legitimate interests

Week 2 - The Natural Person

  • Legal bases for processing, including consent, legitimate interests and contracts
  • The rights of the individual, including (but not limited to) erasure, access and automated decision-making
  • Identifying how the implementation of GDPR could help to prevent particular breaches of data

Week 3 - The organisation and the data lifecycle

  • Implications of GDPR for workers, their places of work and their customers
  • Mitigating risks associated with the handling and processing of data
  • Third party contracts and transfers
  • Roles and responsibilities regarding Data Protection in the workplace

 Among the outcomes of the course are the ability to

  • Explain actions you and your workplace can take to mitigate risks
  • Identify the implications of GDPR for you and your workplace
  • Describe the role and responsibilities of Data Protection Officers

So if you are worried that GDPR might apply to you then this seems like a worthwhile investment of time and money. 


More Information

Understanding the GDPR

Introduction to GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation

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Last Updated ( Friday, 07 February 2020 )